Kuala Lumpur / Bloomberg
Singapore Airlines Ltd. picked Thales SA to provide in-flight entertainment systems and Internet connections for passengers on its newest widebody long-range plane, the Airbus Group SE A350.
The deal is an important milestone in Thales’ push to become number one in in-flight entertainment systems, Chairman Patrice Caine said Tuesday at the Singapore Airshow, adding that he hoped the company’s first contract with Singapore Air would open the door to more in the future.
Caine declined to say how many planes would be equipped with Thales’ systems, saying SingaporeAir had asked for confidentiality. He also declined to specify the value of the contract, calling it “sensitive.”
Until now, Singapore Air had used Japan’s Panasonic as key supplier for cabin entertainment systems. Singapore Air is widely seen as a global leader in providing passengers with the latest technologies and comfort.
Caine said Thales is developing an in-flight entertainment system that’s personalized and customized by passenger. The company has an advantage for in-flight connectivity innovation because of its presence in the space and satellite domains, he said.
A demonstration at the airshow Tuesday showed the system for Singapore Air is similar to a tablet screen, complete with apps. Guests in business class will be able to order food and drink through the system.